About Gabriel Vicéns
Described as "a thoughtful improviser with a quiet tone who makes every note count" by Downbeat Magazine and as "an exceptional artist, with a shimmering sense of sonority and the ability to find a keen balance between poetry and intensity" by Latin Jazz Network, Gabriel Vicéns (b. 1988 in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) is a NYC-based guitarist, composer, and educator who works across a wide range of musical expressions. Vicéns moved to New York City after more than a decade of performing and recording with top groups from the Puerto Rican jazz scene and a four-year professorship at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico.
Legendary bassist Eddie Gómez praises Vicéns as "a creative musician that displays a new vision on the guitar." Vicéns music is influenced by many genres, ranging from jazz, rock, classical music, electronic music, and Caribbean folklore. He has studied with Fernando Mattina, Paul Bollenback, Ray Anderson, and composers Daria Semegen, Carlos Cabrer, Lois V Vierk, and Marti Epstein.
Gabriel Vicéns has been featured at venues and festivals such as Heineken Jazz Fest in Puerto Rico, SF Jazz Center in San Francisco, Ljubljana Jazz Festival in Slovenia, Uno Jazz San Remo Festival in Italy, and Havana World Music Festival in Cuba. He has worked with artists such as Miguel Zenón, Alex Sipiagin, John Benitez, Paoli Mejias, Luis Perdomo, David Sánchez, Will Vinson, among others. In New York, he has frequently performed at prominent venues such as The Cell Theater, Cornelia Street Cafe, Latea Theater, Fat Cat, The Owl Music Parlor, and Terraza 7, both as a leader of his own groups and as a sideman. In addition, he is co-leader of the experimental ensemble No Base Trio, with whom, in 2020, released their critically acclaimed eponymous debut album under the label Setola di Maiale.
Vicéns is also a painter; he studied at the Art Students League of New York with renowned color-field painter Pat Lipsky and briefly with Ronnie Landfield. In 2018, he was invited to be part of the group exhibition Dislexia Geografica
held at The Clemente Soto Vélez: Cultural and Educational Center, featuring
many artists from Latin America. He actively works in the realm of painting
alongside his music career.
Gabriel Vicéns received a B.M. in Jazz and Caribbean Music Studies and Performance from the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico, an M.M. in Jazz Studies and Performance from Queens College, and a D.M.A. in Jazz Studies and Performance from Stony Brook University. He has released three critically acclaimed albums as a leader: Point In Time (2012), Days (2015), and The Way We Are Created (2021). His last record incorporates compositions influenced by folklore music from Puerto Rico, featuring saxophonist Roman Filiú, pianist Glenn Zaleski, bassist Rick Rosato, drummer E.J. Strickland, and percussionist Victor Pablo. Currently, Vicéns is working on various projects, including his fourth studio album, which will highlight him as a composer of concert music.
"Complex melodies and intricate rhythms inspired by the Puerto Rican music and dance styles bomba and plena showcase his heritage to dazzling effect."
Julian Maynard-Smith, London Jazz News, 2021
"Blessed with strong, original compositions and a high level of performance, its own unique flavour makes it a very enjoyable listen."
Mikes Gates, UK Vibe, 2021
“We are all born to be creative, he says, and The Way We Are Created is a strong argument in favor.”
Mark Sullivan, All About Jazz, 2021
"The meticulously constructed compositions benefit from canny arrangements utilising all the instruments in a perfectly balanced formation of tonality and harmonic colour."
Roger Farbey, Jazz Journal, 2021
"Gabriel Vicéns is an exceptional artist, with a shimmering sense of sonority and the ability to find a keen balance between poetry and intensity"
Raul Da Gama, Latin Jazz Network, 2017
"A thoughtful improviser with a quiet tone who makes every note count"
Scott Yanow, Downbeat Magazine, 2016
“Guitarist Gabriel Vicens and his crew of Puerto Rican all-stars, turn in one compelling performance on his impressive Days.”
Edward Blanco, All About Jazz, 2015
"A rising jazz guitarist... Vicéns has provided a splendid recording that conveys a clear representation of his culture and individuality"
Mark F. Turner, All About Jazz, 2015